Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Haagen-Dazs Dark Chocolate Chip Gelato

I usually don’t buy Haagen-Dazs. There are a couple of reasons: compared to Ben & Jerry’s, their flavors seem pretty tame; I’m not the biggest fan of their texture; and I really, really object to ripping people off with wannabe-pints instead of the whole shebang. BUT give me a coupon for ice cream and I will use it!

Which is how I ended up with a (non-)pint of Dark Chocolate Chip gelato, courtesy of Kroger. The only other H-D gelato I’ve tried was the Sea Salt Caramel, and to be honest it didn’t really seem like gelato to me. Just a softer version of their ice cream. But that was a while ago, so it’s hard to remember for sure.

I’m always drawn by dark chocolate, but as of yet there aren’t very many ice creams that make a dark chocolate base that’s really distinguishable as dark chocolate. Unfortunately, the same thing happened to me here: I can’t say for sure this gelato is dark, it could be any rich chocolate ice cream for all I would know.

The chips, however, are another story. Here it’s so obvious, and there are so many of them, that it pretty much feels like you’re eating a block of dark chocolate. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I love dark chocolate and mix-ins, so having a ton of dark chocolate mix-ins sounds like heaven. But on the other, there are only so many mix-ins you can have before it becomes hard to appreciate the actual gelato for its own richness and creaminess.

So the end result is an overwhelmingly dark chocolate gelato, but that’s no thanks to the base. Not that the base is bad in itself, in fact I wouldn’t mind eating a whole pint of it. It’s just not dark like I was expecting.

OK, now here’s the weird part: I tasted coffee. If it happened once I would have written it off as an anomaly or my messed up taste buds, but it happened quite frequently after I got about a quarter of the way in. Like every third spoonful or so. I’m thinking maybe it was the bitterness from the dark chocolate mixing funkily with the ice cream? Or maybe there’s actually more darkness to the base than I originally thought. It was just a brief impression, and then it was gone and the rest of the spoonful tasted like chocolate, but it was enough to throw me off.

This stuff has the typical texture of Haagen-Dazs’ gelato, that is to say it’s weird and not really gelato-like at all. Just like my first impression, the only difference between this and ice cream is...well, honestly this just felt like a faster-melting, easier-to-scoop-straight-from-the-freezer ice cream. I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t had enough gelato in my life to really be able to tell the difference. It’s creamy, it’s good, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. But sadly, it probably won’t make it back to my freezer.
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